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Court: Fast-food restaurant is liable for parking lot beating

Business managers and property owners here in the Washington, D.C., area are required to keep their premises free from known safety risks. This means that they have to keep walking areas free of slipping and tripping hazards; they must keep properties up to code and well-maintained; and, they must provide an adequate amount of security. When businesses fail to do these things and they invite patrons onto their premises, patrons may be at a significant risk of suffering injuries.

Those who are injured in such incidents have the right to pursue compensation under premises liability law. A national fast-food restaurant chain, Jack in the Box, has recently been ordered to pay a man $20.5 million after he was severely beaten in one of their location's parking lots. The man was left disabled as a result of the beating.

The man was in a coma for more than a year following the incident. He now has permanent brain damage and requires ongoing medical and rehabilitative care.

Four people faced criminal charges related to this attack, and they are all now in prison. A lawsuit filed by the now 35-year-old victim's mother, however, also placed fault on Jack in the Box for neglecting to prevent the beating.

The lawsuit claimed that Jack in the Box's employees were not adequately trained to prevent and deal with such a situation, and that they even violated the policies that the company did have in place.

The jury actually reached a $25 million verdict, but because it determined that the victim was partially responsible for the fight, the award was reduced.

This heartbreaking case illustrates the legal options that are available to those who are harmed due to the negligence of others. In many cases, injuries might be the result of many factors, but, as seen in this case, even when injuries have been partially caused by the victim, legal recourse may be possible. Those who are injured on another's property due to hazards or poor security may benefit from talking to a personal injury attorney about their rights.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "$20 Million Verdict Against Jack in the Box," Joe Harris, Sept. 9, 2013

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